The ellipses or three dots (…) notation is typically used to indicate that there are more options available. For example, on a menu, they may be used to indicate that more items are available beyond the current selection. On a button, they may be used to indicate that more steps are required to complete an action.
These dots, referred to as an ellipsis, can be used correctly by including a space after the first dot, followed by a second dot, and then another space before the text of the sentence. According to Microsoft’s Guidelines, an ellipsis can also be used to indicate the omission of one or more words from a text, but this should be used sparingly.
When to Use Ellipsis?
The ellipsis is used to indicate one of two things: an omission in text or the presence of a series of choices.
Omission in Text
If you are omitting a word or phrase from a text, you should use an ellipsis to indicate the omission. For example, the following text uses an ellipsis to indicate that a word has been omitted:
I went to the store and bought some apples…
In this sentence, the word “and” has been omitted.
Series of Choices
If you are providing a series of choices, you should use an ellipsis to indicate that more choices are available. For example, the following text provides a series of choices:
Please select a color…
In this sentence, the ellipsis indicates that more colors are available.
Ellipsis in UI Design
In UI design, ellipses can be used at the end of incomplete text or string. Moreover, note that the kebab menu and meatballs menu also have the 3 dots because it means ‘more options.’
The ellipsis is used to indicate either an omission in text or the presence of a series of choices. When using an ellipsis in UI design, you should use a space after the first dot, followed by a second dot, and then another space before the text of the sentence.